As For Me and My House (Apr 22)

as for me

quote from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

April 22
As For Me and My House

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 58:1-11 | Josh 24:1-33 | Luke 21:1-29 | Proverbs 13:20-23

Today’s Scripture Focus: Joshua 24:1-33

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Josh 24:14-15 NIV)

They had, more or less, conquered the land. Nearing the end of his life and time of leadership, Joshua calls the people together. First he reminds them of the way God has been with them in giving them this land. He doesn’t hesitate to go into details. He concludes his review of God’s intervention on their behalf: “So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant” (24:13).

After reminding them how God had fulfilled his promises and had been faithful to the covenant, Joshua calls them to commitment: “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (24:14-15).

Already many had forgotten the law and the covenant; many had already fallen into idolatry. Joshua calls them to wholehearted devotion to God. As a good leader, he makes the first commitment; “as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD!” Yet he gives them the choice.

The people declare their intention to follow the LORD. But Joshua slows them down making sure they carefully consider their choice. He even taunts them, “You are not able to serve the LORD!” Joshua wants to make sure they understand the consequences. Still the people reaffirm their commitment to serve the LORD.

Then Joshua reminds them of the conditions of the covenant. He once again has the law read in the hearing of the people. Then he has a reaffirmation ceremony. He set up a stone of remembrance—a witness to the people of their commitment to God.
It is good to remember the blessings of God—to retrace our paths to see the footprints of God. It is good to seriously consider the cost of commitment. It is good to set up memorial markers (some record of our commitment). Most importantly, we must choose wisely and follow through on that commitment with God’s grace in the power of the Holy Spirit. Choose this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD!

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About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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